If you haven’t come across VPNBook before, you might have had a lucky escape.
It is a free VPN service, based in Romania, which makes big claims about the service it delivers.
If you are wondering whether all of this is too good to be true, you are not alone. This is why we have taken a closer look at what VPNBook has to offer.
What is VPNBook?
VPNBook is one of many free VPNs on the market. But this one comes with some audacious claims about its service. It says it comes with no bandwidth limits, complete user anonymity, the “strongest encryption” and super-fast speeds.
How is this possible from a free VPN?
Well, VPNBook has no apps which obviously keeps their costs low, although it does mean you have to set things up manually no matter what device you are using.
Old reviews of VPNBook say it only offers servers in Canada, the Netherlands, and two in the USA. We can’t find any information about server locations on their website.
Actually, we can find very little information about anything to do with VPNBook on their website, or anywhere else for that matter. As experienced VPN reviewers, this is something that automatically raises a red flag.
The type of encryption used by your VPN is fundamentally important. This is what keeps all your sensitive data secure and protected.
Most premium VPNs will offer a minimum of 256-bit AES encryption as standard and are upfront about exactly what encryption technology it is using.
VPNBook couldn’t be vaguer. The only mention of encryption on its website says, “All traffic between you and the VPN is encrypted using only the best encryption techniques such as AES-256 and AES-128.”
It’s the “such as” comment that really stands out. If they can’t be specific about how they are encrypting your data, why should we believe they are actually doing it at all?
We were initially encouraged that the VPNBook website has a whole tab dedicated to Privacy. But then we clicked on it.
The page consists of two paragraphs in which VPNBook confirm that they will log your IP Address along with other connection details. They claim these logs are deleted weekly but no evidence is given to back up this claim and there is no explanation about what happens to the data they collect in the meantime.
Nowhere does VPNBook claim to be a no user logs service which means it almost certainly routinely harvests its users data to sell to third parties to fund the site. This is how most free VPNs cover their costs and turn a profit.
So, is VPNBook safe or even legit for that matter?
It is difficult to reach any definitive conclusions about VPNBook because there is so little information available about it. But this in itself is a big worry for us.
You are entrusting all of your internet data to your VPN provider, so it is not unreasonable to expect them to tell you a few things about themselves to earn your trust. VPNBook doesn’t offer anything at all.
A little online research will reveal a number of unfavourable review of VPNBook’s service, although many of these are fairly old now. But you will also find no shortage of references to claims that VPNBook could be a honeypot.
There are reports that VPNBook has handed over data that has been used to incriminate hackers linked to the Anonymous group and various other allegations but, to be honest, we have not found anything concrete to back up these allegations.
Nevertheless, the fact that we can find more allegations like these than we can details about VPNBook itself, speaks volumes and we have also found no cast-iron evidence that suggests VPNBook is legit and safe either.
As far back as 2012 the service listed a Swiss address on their website, if this was ever real is another matter. However, this is no longer given on the current site.
In the circumstances, the safest recommendation we can make is that it probably isn’t either.
Are there any safer free VPNs?
We are not in the habit of recommending free VPNs because we know from bitter experience how dangerous most of them are.
Not only do they routinely collect and sell user data but many others will install unwanted adware or even malware onto your device or inject adverts into your browser which ruins your online experience.
Performance tends to be way below par too with slow connection speeds, pointlessly low bandwidth limits, and limited server options.
If you have to use a free VPN, there are a handful of serviceable options which we have detailed in this article.
What should we use instead of VPNBook?
Frankly, almost any VPN would be a better bet than VPNBook.
The best VPNs on the market still only cost a few dollars a month and this is a pittance when put up against their high-quality service, user-friendly apps, and the peace of mind they can offer you.
Our current Editor’s Choice is ExpressVPN, with NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN running them extremely close. All of these VPNs offer strong encryption, trustworthy privacy protections, fast speeds, great apps, and big server networks; all things VPNBook simply doesn’t have.